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Exhibition Loan Service

The Exhibition Loan Collection includes over thirty exhibitions of various sizes, on local history topics. Each exhibition combines both illustrations and text and is usually mounted and designed for use with screens.

Schools, community groups and interested individuals, (with valid Tameside Library Key cards or other ID) are all welcome to use this service.

The Library also holds a large collection of material of local interest including visual material such as maps and photographs. Copies of these can usually be ordered, subject to copyright restrictions. For further details about these, or any other service, please contact Tameside Local Studies & Archives Unit

Exhibition Titles


Aitken - Writings of a Nineteenth Century Working Man

Aitken was an Ashton Chartist who published his autobiography in the Ashton Reporter. Autobiographies of ordinary working men of this period are very rare. This small exhibition consists of extracts from the new edition complied by R. G. Hall and S. Roberts. (10 A4 cards)

Ashton District Hospital

A small exhibition depicting the emergence of the hospital from the 19th century workhouse to the complex of today. (9 boards)

Ashton in Old Photographs

This exhibition describes life in Ashton in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with topics such as leisure, cotton mills, childhood, local customs and the Ashton explosion included. Extracts from oral history interviews with local people are included in addition to pictorial evidence. (10 small boards)

Ashton Library Centenary

The history of Ashton's Library service is traced through its first hundred years from 1882-1982. (10 small boards)

Ashton Parish Church

An exhibition originally compiled to celebrate the 700th Anniversary of Ashton's Parish Church. The history of the parish of Ashton is also covered with illustrations of the Old Hall and Court House for example. (30 small boards and 4 large)

Asian Memories

This unique photograph collection, with Asian memories of moving to Tameside and how life used to be in their homeland, was created from the Everybody's Reading Project for Black History Month 2002.

Audenshaw In Old Photographs

A small exhibition of views of old Audenshaw in the late nineteenth century. (8 boards and a header)

Bridge Street/Knowl Street, Stalybridge

An exhibition in maps and pictures of a small area of Stalybridge, showing a bygone age of back-to-back housing, poverty and social conditions in the later 19th and early 20th centuries. (4 large, 30 small boards)

Bygone Droylsden

An insight into the history of Droylsden, including leisure, education, employment, local customs, shopping and religion. It includes over 60 illustrations of census records and other documents, maps and photographs. (38 small boards)

Bygone Hurst

A selection of photographs, illustrating the history of Hurst during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. (3 small boards, 8 large)

Canal Life in the Early Twentieth Century

Photographs and extracts from oral history interviews are used to describe the life of the canal boat people at the turn of the century. Some information about Portland Basin, Ashton and the building of the Manchester Ship Canal is also included. (11 small boards)

Denton in Old Photographs

Illustrations and information about the people and places of Denton in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. (13 boards)

"Disloyal Thoughts Against His Majesty. "The Civil War in SE Lancashire and NE Cheshire

A small exhibition containing maps and illustrations describing the course of the Civil War in the Tameside area, with particular emphasis on the two prominent local Parliamentarians - Colonel Robert Duckenfield and John Bradshawe. (4 very large boards)

Droylsden in Old Photographs

A small exhibition which introduces the general history of Droylsden and its inhabitants since the nineteenth century. (7 small boards and 15 even smaller boards)

Dukinfield in Old Photographs

A selection of photographs depicting the history of Dukinfield; its streets, buildings, people and special events. (14 small boards)

Francis Dukinfield Astley

This exhibition presents aspects of the life of Francis Dukinfield Astley, who was Lord of the Manor of Dukinfield at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The exhibition celebrates the bicentenary of his birth in 1781. (8 small boards)

Freedom and Liberty

An exhibition produced for the 2007 National Archives Campaign. Includes local connections with slavery and examines prisoners of conflict and prisoners of conviction using local records and the impact of the loss of freedom on the individual. (4 large boards)

The Furness Family

The Furness Family settled in Ashton in the nineteenth century and began trading in Stamford Arcade. This exhibition gives an interesting insight into commerce in Ashton, particularly in the area around Stamford Arcade. (26 framed boards, 2 small mounted, 1 large)

Haughton Glass Works

Examines the history of glass making in the Haughton area. (7 boards)

Here to Stay

About 45 laminated photographs, ephemera and tape extracts relating to our HLF funded Oral History Project run in 2005 which recorded the memories of people who came to Tameside from the Indian sub-continent in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. It includes family photographs from the interviewees and material about the running of the Project.

History on Your Doorstep

Twelve illustrations of the kind of source material held by the Local Studies Library which is useful in tracing the history of a house or a small area in a town. (8 small boards)

Hugh Mason and the Oxford Community

Ten illustrations of life in the Oxford Community built by Ashton cotton manufacturer Hugh Mason and his father from the mid-nineteenth century onwards. Mason served as MP for the town and was one of the most powerful figures in Victorian Ashton. (7 boards)

Industrial Past

An interesting look at some of Dukinfield's old industrial black spots. (6 small boards)

John Wroe and the New Jerusalem

A series of photographs depicting the origins of the Christian Israelite Church in Ashton-under-Lyne. (14 large boards)

Labour History

Pictures, engravings, posters & pamphlets illustrating topics such as Luddites, the Radical Press, Chartism, trade unions, Co-operation, Fabians, the Labour Church, the Clarion Movement, women's radicalism, the Independent Labour Party, conscientious objectors, all linked to the Mitchell family of Ashton-under-Lyne. (Exhibition by Bill Johnson: 3 large, 11 small, 2 very small boards).

The Liverpool and Manchester Railway

The building of the Manchester and Liverpool Railway is portrayed using contemporary prints. (12 small boards)

Living Memories of Hyde

This exhibition was put together using material collected during the `Living Memories of Hyde' project, which eventually culminated in the publishing of a book of the same title. The social and cultural life of the town are covered as well as general employment and the cotton mills. (25 large, 19 small boards)

Local Poets

Fifteen illustrations of poets and poems associated with this area in the nineteenth century. Includes Samuel Laycock, the dialect poet from Stalybridge, James Burgess of Droylsden, John Critchley Prince and James Leigh of Hyde. (10 small, 3 large boards)

Locals in the Limelight

Amateur dramatics first became popular in the nineteenth century and quickly became one of the main leisure pursuits. Old photographs and programmes from many local amateur groups are used to illustrate this fascinating exhibition. (17 small boards)

Manchester Regiment and the Boer War

A selection of photographs and documents from the Manchester Regiment Archives describing the experiences and conditions of soldiers during the Boer War. (14 boards)

Memories of Mossley

A comprehensive history of Mossley which includes such topics as employment, transport, education, leisure and religion. (27 small boards)

Methodism in the Tame Valley 1741-1850

The early history of Methodism in this area is shown using a variety of illustrations including old engravings. (22 small boards, 1 large)

Money Matters

This exhibition looks at the ways people saved and spent their money in the last century, including the growth of banks, friendly societies, the co-operative movement, Pawnbroking and local firms, shops and markets. (11 small boards and 1 very small board)

Mottram 500

An exhibition originally compiled for the 500th Anniversary of the Church. Seventeen illustrations are used showing both the interior and exterior of the building and its congregation from early to modern times. (12 small boards)

Mottram In Old Photographs

Taken from the archives, a selection of photographs of general views of Mottram create a small exhibition. (8 small boards)

Old Millbrook

An interesting look at the history of this small community. (12 A4 size maps and photographs)

Radclyffe Hall

The author of "Well of Loneliness", the classic lesbian novel had connections with Ashton. This small exhibition describes the family connection. (11 boards)

Samuel Laycock 1826-1893

Ten illustrations of the life of Samuel Laycock, the Stalybridge dialect poet. The exhibition includes some of his most famous poems. (10 small boards)

Seasons Greetings

Recaptures the flavour of Christmas past in words and pictures. (9 small boards)

Shopping in Ashton

Ashton has always had a role as a commercial centre for the surrounding area. This exhibition shows just some aspects of shopping in Ashton especially from the Victorian and Edwardian era to the mid twentieth century. (9 large boards)


A small display of images of Stalybridge and Armentieres illustrating scenes, events and shopping. (9 boards)

Stalybridge in Old Photographs

An interesting look at old Stalybridge in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. (17 small boards)

Stalybridge Library Centenary 1889-1989

The history of the library and its founders the Cheetham family are presented using text, photographs and news cuttings. (10 small boards)

Swimming in Stalybridge

Sport was always popular in Stalybridge and the town was particularly renowned, in the late nineteenth century, for the quality of its swimmers. The most famous of these was Joey Nuttall who won many prizes including the title of Amateur Champion of the World, during the 1880's. (6 small boards)

Tame Valley at Work

The industries of the Tame Valley are chronicled using over twenty old photographs, alongside extracts from oral history interviews. The cotton mills, coal mines, canals and iron works are all represented. (17 small boards)

Tameside Links

This exhibition looks at Tameside's links with countries that are - or have been - part of the Commonwealth. As well as highlighting some early Black and Irish history, it also features the fascinating photograph albums of Dugald Wilson's 1909 trip around the world. (6 large boards)

Theatre in Ashton 1807-1945

Covers the history of Ashton's many theatres, music halls and cinemas, and shows some of the stars who appeared in them. (14 small boards)

Welcome to Hyde 

Six large boards illustrating the lives of newcomers to Hyde from a Black servant to the Hyde family in the 18th century, through the Irish and Italians to the Ugandan Asians expelled by Idi Amin in the 1970s and the Bangladeshis who form a large community today. The display includes the Meshia ice cream family and the first Catholic Mayor in Cheshire, Luke Kenny, using photographs, documents, news cuttings, advertisements, printed extracts from oral history interviews6 large boards illustrating the lives of newcomers to Hyde from a Black servant to the Hyde family in the 18th century, through the Irish and Italians to the Ugandan Asians expelled by Idi Amin in the 1970s and the Bangladeshis who form a large community today. The display includes the Meshia ice cream family and the first Catholic Mayor in Cheshire, Luke Kenny, using photographs, documents, news cuttings, advertisements, printed extracts from oral history interviews.

Wilfred Owen 1893 - 1918

Illustrates the conditions in which Wilfred Owen served during the First World War. (6 large boards)

Revised April 2021